Life in the Studio|Frances Palmer
Life in the Studio : Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity
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"Roll-up-your-sleeves advice on throwing pottery, growing dahlias, cooking her tried-and-true recipes, and everything in between."
--Martha Stewart Living

"Suited to any type of creative, offering up lessons on inspiration and creativity that are sure to bring out your inner talent."
--House Beautiful, Best New Design Books

What makes a creative life? For an artist like Frances Palmer, it's knitting all of one's passions--all of one's creativity--into the whole of life. And what an inspiration it is.

A renowned potter, an entrepreneur, a gardener, a photographer, a cook, a beekeeper, Palmer has over the course of three decades caught the attention not only of the countless people who collect and use her ceramics but also of designers and design lovers, writers, and fellow artists who marvel at her example. Now, in her first book, she finally tells her story, in her own words and images, distilling from her experiences lessons that will inspire a new generation of makers and entrepreneurs.

Life in the Studio is as beautiful and unexpected as Palmer's pottery, as breathtakingly colorful as her celebrated dahlias, as intimate as the dinners she hosts in her studio for friends and family. There are insights into making pots--the importance of centering, the discovery that clay has a memory. Strategies for how to turn a passion into a business--the value to be found in collaboration, what it means to persevere, how to develop and stick to a routine that will sustain both enthusiasm and productivity. There are also step-by-step instructions (for throwing her beloved Sabine pot, growing dahlias, building an opulent flower arrangement). Even some of her most tried-and-true recipes.

The result is a portrait of a unique artist and a singularly generous manual on how to live a creative life.


  • ISBN-13: 9781579659059
  • ISBN-10: 1579659055
  • Publisher: Artisan Publishers
  • Publish Date: October 2020
  • Dimensions: 10 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Page Count: 256

Make some room on those studio shelves

Four fresh art and design books inspire, enlighten and cultivate creativity. Perfect for accomplished artists, occasional dabblers or anyone in search of a new hobby, these terrific titles provide instant inspiration.

Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt are the dynamic duo behind the architecture and design podcast “99% Invisible,” and their intriguing book, The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, draws upon the podcast’s concepts by picking out smartly conceived, frequently overlooked components of the urban landscape and explaining how they contribute to a thriving civic environment.

From traffic lights, public signage and historical plaques to manhole covers and city monuments, the book examines design elements big and small, revealing the ways in which they bring clarity to the chaos of modern life. The volume is organized into brief, easy-to-process sections, and it touches down in boroughs around the globe. Filled with nifty line illustrations in bold black and white, this eye-opening book will give readers a fresh appreciation for the beauty and functionality that are inherent—but not immediately apparent—in the urban world.

Open StudioOpen Studio: Do-It-Yourself Art Projects by Contemporary Artists gives readers the chance to craft along with major makers. The authors, curator Sharon Coplan Hurowitz and journalist-filmmaker Amanda Benchley, recruited a group of A-list participants for the volume (Marina Abramovic, William Wegman, Maya Lin—the list goes on), which is packed with brilliant photography, including candid shots of the artists at work.

The book’s 17 wide-ranging projects offer something for everyone. Sculptor Rachel Feinstein’s “Rococo Hut” is a small-scale architectural wonder that you can recreate with cutouts, while multimedia artist Wangechi Mutu’s “Earth Androids,” composed of paper pulp, soil, ink and paint, are simply out of this world. Painter Will Cotton’s foil-paper “The Royal Crown of Candyland” will bring out the kid in any crafter. The step-by-step instructions and how-to photos that accompany each project make staying on track a snap. Open Studio shows that getting creative is easy—especially when you can take cues from world-class artists.

Life in the StudioStimulation, motivation and encouragement—that’s what artistic minds will find in Life in the Studio: Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity, Frances Palmer’s guide to starting—and maintaining—a creative practice. In this beautifully photographed book, Palmer, a celebrated ceramics artist, art historian and successful businesswoman, delivers big-picture advice without neglecting the small details. She shares tips on how to establish a creative routine, identify sources of inspiration and stay engaged. She also provides guidance on hands-on matters such as setting up a studio, with an overview of must-have tools and more.

Throughout the volume, Palmer reflects on how her skills and methods have evolved over her 30-year career. Through pottery projects, flower-arranging tutorials and recipes, she proves that creativity can manifest itself in unexpected ways. Both the seasoned artist and the beginner will be enriched by this stunning guide.

Truth BombAbigail Crompton’s Truth Bomb: Inspiration From the Mouths and Minds of Women Artists is as provocative as the title suggests. With a design that combines audacious colors and not-to-be-ignored graphics, the volume spotlights 22 prominent female artists—women from diverse backgrounds working in a wide range of media, including photography, video, painting and performance art.

Crompton, an artist and design-studio entrepreneur, assembled a stellar lineup for the book: Judy Chicago, Mickalene Thomas, Miranda July, Yayoi Kusama and the Guerrilla Girls are among the featured makers. She provides profiles of each, delving into their creative processes and techniques. Along the way, these extraordinary women share bits of hard-won wisdom, words of encouragement and practical advice. The book is also filled with beautifully reproduced examples of their work. Truth Bomb is an invaluable resource for anyone with creative inclinations. From start to finish, it’s a spirited homage to the artistic life.